With the help of women workers, total industrial production doubled between 1939 and 1945. The military production was astounding: 300,000 aircraft, 12,000 ships, 86,000 tanks, and 64,000 landing craft in addition to millions of artillery pieces and small weapons.

Women workers groom lines of transparent noses
for A-20 attack bombers at Douglas Aircraft’s
Long Beach, California plant, October 1942

Credit: National Archives
Amanda Smith at work at the Douglas Aircraft
Company, Long Beach, California

Credit:  Library of Congress

Women worked six days a week, enjoyed only a handful of holidays, and were pressed to take overtime to keep the assembly lines operating around the clock.

A woman inspector confers with a worker as she makes a careful check of center wings for C-47 transport planes, Douglas Aircraft Company,
Long Beach, California

Credit: Library of Congress  
Lucille Little works in the El Segundo
Plant of the Douglas aircraft company

Credit: Library of Congress
An aircraft worker in Texas

Credit: Library of Congress
Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes, Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant,
Fort Worth, Texas, October 1942

Credit: Library of Congress